Can you eat whole broccolini plant?

Answered by Edward Huber

You can eat the whole broccolini plant, including the stems! While the florets often steal the show, the stems of broccolini are actually quite delicious and should not be overlooked. They have a milder and sweeter flavor compared to the florets, almost resembling the taste of kohlrabi.

To fully enjoy the stems of broccolini, it’s important to prepare and cook them properly. Here are a few suggestions on how to make the most of this often underappreciated part of the plant:

1. Trim the stems: Start by trimming off the tough ends of the broccolini stems. This is similar to how you would trim the ends of asparagus. Removing the woody part will ensure that the stems are tender and easier to eat.

2. Peel the tougher skin (optional): While the skin of broccolini stems is edible, it can be a bit fibrous and tough. If you prefer a more tender texture, you can peel the tougher skin off with a vegetable peeler. This is purely optional, and some may find the skin perfectly enjoyable without peeling.

3. Cut into smaller pieces: After trimming and possibly peeling, cut the broccolini stems into bite-sized pieces. This will make them easier to cook and eat.

4. Cook to your liking: There are various ways to cook broccolini stems. You can blanch them in boiling water for a few minutes until tender-crisp, sauté them in a pan with garlic and olive oil, roast them in the oven, or even grill them. Experiment with different cooking methods to find your favorite way to enjoy them.

5. Seasoning and flavoring: The mild and sweet flavor of broccolini stems makes them a versatile ingredient. You can season them with salt, pepper, and herbs to enhance their taste. They also absorb other flavors and seasonings beautifully, so feel free to experiment with different spices or sauces to create a delicious combination.

6. Pairing and serving: Broccolini stems can be enjoyed on their own as a side dish, mixed with other vegetables in stir-fries, added to pasta dishes, or used as a topping for pizzas and salads. Get creative and incorporate them into your favorite recipes.

Remember, the stems of broccolini are tender and delicious when cooked properly, but they may have a slightly longer cooking time compared to the florets. Be mindful not to overcook them, as they can become mushy.

Don’t let the florets hog all the attention! The stems of broccolini are entirely edible and offer a mild and sweet taste that is worth exploring. Give them a try and discover a new way to enjoy this versatile vegetable.